New Report: “Everyone knows we have a housing crisis: let’s do something about it”

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People_Keith_TaylorKeith Taylor, Green Party MEP for South East England has launched a new report today on the UK housing crisis called “Everyone knows we have a housing crisis: let’s do something about it”.

The report is officially launched in Oxford this evening at the Grove Auditorium, Magdalen College from 6.30pm – 8.30pm alongside guest speakers Professor Danny Dorling and author Anna Minton. Oxford is officially the UK’s least affordable city to live in.

Keith Taylor will also be touring South East England over the next 3 weeks to speak about the report in Brighton, Canterbury, Winchester, Reading and Guildford.

See below for some stand out headlines from the report:

  • The report re-affirms the need to build more social rented homes (council housing) and argues that 8650 new social rented homes should be built across the South East region per year.
  • Other policy recommendations include the implementation of a land value tax, council tax reform, new powers for local authorities to bring empty homes back into use and the decriminalisation of squatting in residential properties.
  • In 2013/14, no new homes were completed by local authorities in the South East.
  • The report argues that affordable housing needs to be redefined based on local income and not market rates. 
  • Homes in the South East now cost 12 times the average salary.
  • The South East has seen the biggest rise in rough sleeping levels with a shocking 96% overall rise since 2010.
  • Only 17 houses were brought back into use across the whole country in 2014 under the Government’s Empty Dwelling Management Orders. In the South East, the number deployed for 2014 was zero.
  • Margaret Thatcher´s introduction of ‘right to buy´ council housing has led directly to a chronic shortage of social housing, and the resultant long waiting lists.

Keith Taylor Green MEP for South East England said:

“People have had enough of living in fear – not knowing how they are going to make next month’s rent. It is imperative that the debate now moves on to looking at the radical but necessary solutions to the housing crisis.

It is time to move away from treating houses purely as financial assets to be shuffled around for maximum gain and instead ensure that we provide decent and affordable homes that meet people’s needs.

This report demonstrates that housing has become unsustainably expensive, and that fresh political will and innovative mechanisms are needed to make housing work for people again.”

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